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Europeans experience mixed fortunes

sports Updated: Mar 05, 2010 01:56 IST

Europe's brightest hopes to lift the World Cup on July 11 in South Africa suffered mixed fortunes in Wednesday's friendly internationals.

European champions Spain produced an assured display to beat 2006 finalists France 2-0 — their first win in France for 42 years — and provoked the home fans into regular bouts of calling for unpopular coach Raymond Domenech to resign.

Another coach was given a reality check after Joachim Loew’s Germany were outclassed 1-0 by Argentina — coached by the ever unpredictable Diego Maradona.

Reigning world champions Italy were held 0-0 by African qualifiers Cameroon in a dull affair while England came from 1-0 down to beat African champions Egypt 3-1 with Peter Crouch belying being dropped from the Spurs first team notching a double.

Holland had little trouble in recording a 2-1 home victory over the United States, who are in England's group in South Africa.

Hosts South Africa struggled to a 1-1 draw against African minnows Namibia, and the hosts had to come from behind ta boot to finish the match all-square.